Mission is the word used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and American Ritualists in a sense somewhat synonymous to the word Revival (q.v.). Among Roman Catholics the Mission is a series of special services, conducted generally by propagandists, who do not themselves preside over a parish; they are mostly members of a monastic order. The word "Mission" in this sense is of recent use. In the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church the word designates "a series of services in which prayer, praise, preaching, and personal exhortation are the main features, and is intended to call souls to repentance and faith, and deepen the spiritual life in the faithful." The "mission" is conducted in a particular parish, or in a number of parishes at once, directed by the rector, or by some priest experienced in such matters, whom he obtains to aid him. " Its themes are heaven, hell, the judgment, sin, the atonement for sin, God's justice, and God's mercy." "The purpose is the proclamation of the old foundations of faith and repentance to souls steeped in worldliness and forgetful of their destiny, whether they be the souls of the baptized or the unbaptized." The usual period of the year for the "mission" is the season of Lent (q.v.). In England it has been the practice for years. A correspondent of the New York Church Journal (March 12, 1874), after describing the interest awakened by the mission services in the English metropolis (in 1874), says that the bishops, persuaded by the good results of the propriety of the missions, "have declined to lay down special rules, and trust to the loyalty of the clergy to conduct the mission in accordance with the rules of the Church," and then adds that "the clergy are now too busy with the real work of the mission to discuss the proper pronunciation of 'Amen,' the length of surplices, and the color of stoles." In the United States it has as yet found favor with few of the Protestant Episcopal churches. A serious obstacle is the Liturgy. In the mission the largest spontaneity and freedom are allowed. Prayers are extemporaneous. The preaching is pungent and personal. The singing is participated in by the whole congregation, and familiar hymns and tunes are selected. The tendency is towards a general introduction of the "mission" into all Protestant Episcopal churches. The Church Journal and Gospel Messenger of December 25, 1873, made a special plea in its behalf, and the Reverend B.P. Morgan has published a book to enlist his Church in revival work. SEE RETREAT. (J.H.W.)

Bible concordance for MISSIONS.

Definition of miss

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